Chester County GOP Purging Conservatives?

Jane Ladley Chester County GOP Purging Conservatives
Jane Ladley, the retired teacher and GOP Area 19 chairwoman facing a party inquisition.

Chester County GOP Purging Conservatives? — So what’s going on in Chester County?

Elected small-government, anti-corruption committeepeople have been sent letters calling them before a Jan.11 county Republican inquisition with the intent to remove them.

Donna Ellingsen, the committeewoman who represents Elk Township in Area 19 for the GOP party,  and her committeeman, are accused of violating party bylaws for supporting a candidate other than the nominated one.  Oh the horror. The violations, by the way, are not specified in the letter.

Donna Ellingsen Chester County GOP Purging Conservatives
Donna Ellingsen

Donna did tell us that she supported a challenger against Estace Walters, an Oxford Good Government candidate who won the 2015 May primary for township supervisor.  Of course, Donna notes that Walters was seen actively colluding with the Democrats, and was featured as the Dem/Rep candidate on the November ballot.

She also noted that Walters was helped by Mark Plaugher who actively worked alongside the Democrats in the May 2015 primary polls to have Walters elected as the Democrat candidate.

“They used a very close facsimile of the official Republican sample ballot which employed a very close facsimile of the GOP elephant logo and made it seem that Walters was the GOP-endorsed candidate to the GOP voters,” she said.

Also receiving notices of violating bylaws in Area 19 were the two committeepeople in East Nottingham, Jane Ladley and her committeeman.

Ms. Ladley chairs the Chesco GOP’s Area 19 which includes Elk Township, and is also a strong conservative.

Contributing to the Byzantine brou-haha is Mark Plaugher who was previously the GOP chair for  Area 19 before being replaced by Ms. Ladley in 2014.

Plaugher started the Oxford Good Government in 2015 which specifically ran candidates against the legitimate Area 19 Committee-endorsed candidates in the May 2015 primaries, Donna says. He was assisted in his efforts by several well-known operatives with ties to the Chesco GOP.

The group raised a not-inconsiderable sum of money and was successful in taking down the conservative Area 19 endorsed candidates in several townships including Elk and East Nottingham in this past November election.

“The money trail ends in Harrisburg at 121 State St.,” Donna says.

The address belongs to State Street Strategies, a political consulting firm owned by Ray Zaborney and his wife, Jennifer.

Plaugher has a Delaware County connection.  At the turn of the Millennium, he was executive director of the Southwest Delaware County Municipality Authority which deals with sewage waste. You can read about Plaugher’s tenure and why he left  at this link.

You think maybe the problem isn’t with the committee people — all of whom are popularly elected — but with the candidates handpicked by the county party leadership?

This is sounding like more of a purge rather than an attempt to maintain necessary order.

Consider that GOP Chesco Treasurer Paul Andriole even signed the petition for a Democrat candidate to get on the Republican ballot for the 2015 Primary.

Meanwhile, the guy running Area 1 for Chesco and a reputedly close associate of the Chesco GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio, has a long history of supporting big government causes. His name is Alex Rahn and he is reputed to be the brains behind a shadow group calling themselves the United Republicans of Chester County that has been trying unsuccessfully since 2012 to take out the county GOP  grassroots factions  such as the Elk and East Nottingham committeepeople.

Rahn  directed political activities for Republican/Democrat Senator Arlen Specter in 2003/2004 before becoming vice president of government affairs with Rajant Corp., founding AKR Government Solutions and becoming a senior associate with Wanner Associates, a government relations consulting firm.

His most recent venture is a Farmers Insurance agency in Thorndale with his wife Kara.

And this brings us to Kara.

Kara has been a Democrat active in liberal causes. In 2012 she gave $2,000 to Bob Casey For Senate Inc. — a pretty generous contribution considering her job at the time was Delaware County Transportation Manager. In 2010, she doled out $4,600: $2,000 to ActBlue, $2,000 to Sestak for Senate and $600 to Democrat Congressman Rob Andrews.  Kara Rahn Campaign Contributions 2010 Chester County GOP Purging Conservatives

Besides the insurance agency, Kara was hired recently as assistant director at Voter Services and even more recently became acting director of  Voter Services of Chesco, where the reliable Jim Forsythe is no more the director.  An abrupt change not previously foreseen by anyone on the outside.

This incestuous bipartisan nepotism appears to go all the way to the top.

Chairman DiGiorgio’s wife, Carolina,  landed a nice job in February as head of the Commerce Department of Democrat-controlled Montgomery County. Carolina’s salary is $105,000 not including benefits. We are sure she is putting in the full 40-hours per week doing the brutal, thankless work that Commerce Department heads do.

And we’re sure there’s no conflict of interest in wives of top operatives in the Republican party working hand-in-hand with Democrats.

Chester County GOP Purging Conservatives

67 thoughts on “Chester County GOP Purging Conservatives?”

  1. Thanks for shining the light on this issue.

    I guess one conclusion we can come to is that the grass-roots conservatives are just too open and honest. They say what they mean and mean what they say. Whereas the Democrat-light “Republican” establishment lets others do the “dirty work.” Perhaps Ms. Ladley and Ms. Ellingsen would have been shielded from this witch hunt if they had had their spouses do whatever they are accused of, instead of allegedly doing it themselves.

    Mr. Rahn’s wife makes the contributions to the Democrats (and I don’t mean Scoop Jackson Democrats) while he does his establishment Republican thing. Funny, too, how Mr. Rahn’s wife gets a cushy County job despite those Democrat donations and the fact that the County government is “Republican.” Oh, but Montgomery County is run by the Democrats and Mr. DiGiorgio’s wife gets a cushy county job there. Funny how that all works out so well –maybe not for everyone but for them.

  2. Follow the Money or should that be Cherchez La Femme? It appears that both Val DiGiorgo and his crony Alex Rahn are profiting from politics.

    Purging committed grassroots Republicans unwilling to enable cynical Cronus to enrich themselves at government expense benefits Val DiGiogio and Alex Rahn while fracturing party unity and effectiveness.

    Jane Ladley and Donna Ellingsen are trusted leaders who win for Republicans. Every Republican won in Ladley Ellingsen’s districts. Countywide two union backed Democratic Appellate court candidates won; in Ladley Ellingsen AlLL Republican Appellate candidates won. Countywide DiGiorgio Rahn brought out 26.75 % of the vote to Ladley Ellingsen’s 37 %

    Di Giorgio Rahn are attempting to purge committed grassroots winning Republican leaders from Republican county Committe in order to build their opportunistic network to enrich themselves, their families and their cronies at the expense of party unity. What sense does that make?

  3. “Bipartisan”; another name for “Cronyism”.

    The Montgomery County Democratic Commissioners (Democrats Shapiro/Arkoosh) hire Val Di Giorgio’s wife, a Republican, and ChesCo Republican County Commissioners (Republicans Terence Farrell /Michelle Kichline) hire Mr. Rahn’s wife, a Democratic cash contributor.
    Alex Rahn is on ChesCo Republican Committee; Val DiGiorgio is chair of that committee.

    Purging grassroots activists close to the Republican voter base from the Republican county committee may not make sense for a Republican organization but it does make sense for a committee run to benefit a few insiders.

    1. For the establishment “Republicans,” it is all about their pocketbook and their power. Ideas don’t matter. Good government doesn’t matter. Integrity doesn’t matter. And they will do anything and everything to get those who threaten their pocketbook and their power. Witness what they are trying to do to Ms. Ladley and Ms. Ellingsen.

      Mr. Lawrence, please post when (time, I see the date of January 11) and where this “Inquisition” will be held. I would hope that many would seek to attend to monitor it for proper procedure and fairness; to give moral support to the heroes who stand against the bullies; and to give pause to those persecuting people trying to give a voice to citizens.

    1. It appears that a political machine has taken over a good portion of Chester County. Thank goodness for the alertness of the Tea Party.

  4. I can personally vouch for both these women being hardworking conservative republicans. If Donna endorsed a candidate other than the estabishment pick it is because she believe in them. The candidates that Donna endorses are working you the voter not the coffers of the GOP establishment. Jane Ladley has been under attack for unseating Mark Plaugher as Chairman of Area 19. Mark has employed the assistance of the GOP to reestablish himself in their graces by feeding their insatiable bank account by establishing a group called Oxford Good Government who continues to fundraise for the Chester County Headquarters and their agenda.
    Should headquarters in West Chester feign innocence to all this, I can assure you that Val DiGiorgio was made privy to this at a meeting for Area 19 in September. He and Joel Frank turned a blind eye to everything stated above and acted as though it did not concern them. Perhaps if they had listened they would not be reading about it right now. Hindsite is 20/20 and can effect their political careers going forward. Shocking, I wonder why people like Donald Trump instead of the favored GOP guy Marco Rubio? Donald Trump should have made the republican party sign something saying they would endorse him if he is the nominated presidential candidate instead of attacking him. The system is corrupt and needs to be fixed! It was made to serve and leave not make a lifetime career out of it. George Washington is probably rolling in his grave!

    1. Dos,
      Donna may have endorsed a candidate because, “she believe in them.” but you are completely missing the point. The time for Donna to do that was the May Primary, at which time Republicans run against Republicans. The simple fact is that the voters in Elk Township chose Estace Walters (who might I add has worked extremely hard for township residents the last 12 years) over Raymond Ramberger. Not willing to accept her constituents choice, Donna took it upon herself to then support Joe Raffa in the General Election. This was a dirty and underhanded move on the part of Donna Ellingsen. Donna should be free to support whoever she chooses, however the Republican Committee of Chester County is an organization which operates with clear bylaws, if Donna wanted to support Joe, all she had to do was resign her committee seat.

      1. What I meant to say was that Estace Walters is corrupt, not Donna Ellingsen. Donna is doing the right things for the people of Chester County. Meanwhile, Estace Walters is taking money from the Open Space Act, to keep farmland undeveloped. SOMETHING HE WAS GOING TO DO ANYWAY!!! What a waste of good money. Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt. Vote Estace out!!! He is stealing money from the people of Chester County! He is corrupt, unethical, immoral, and a scoundrel. Thank you to Donna Ellingsen for all the patriotic and heroic things she has done for Chester County!

        And thank you to Jane Ladley for getting another corrupt politician rightfully voted out!!!

      2. Then she will lose her election for committee. Don’t count on it.
        Republican pre-nomination endorsements mean that no true Conservative will get “endorsed”, only party hacks.

  5. Thank you for the insight into the GOP Rhinos.The establishment is mad because your not puppets for them. Keep up the good work ladies! I think someone needs to expose the ENT solicitor in the next article

  6. I wonder where all the official inquisitions were when the GOP establishment insiders refused to support Tom Smith financially and with their hard work after he won the primary. This kind of double standard is what causes people to leave the Republican Party because they have become not much different than the Democratic Party. The precincts and areas staffed with folks like Mrs. Ladley and Mrs. Ellingson are the ones that always turn out high percentages of voters for Republicans. It seems to me the inquisition should be asking them how they are doing it so they could duplicate it elsewhere rather than trying to oust these true small government conservatives.

    1. Glen, you are exactly right. There is a double standard.

      The establishment routinely fails to support great candidates (like the wonderful Tom Smith, tragically recently passed away), but that is fine. Apparently when these two young ladies do not do the establishment’s bidding (or so it is claimed) for candidates who do not believe in limited and efficient government, that is a “crime.” That sounds like selective prosecution.

      I hope that is explored in the “hearing” that is scheduled (thank you to Mr. Lawrence, above, for letting us all know the date, time, and location of the “hearing”). I suspect, though, that the “hearing” will be run more like the show trials of North Korea than what we would hope to see in Chester County.

  7. Jane Ladley and Donna Ellingsen are truth tellers. They are women of integrity and good moral character. Don’t be fooled by the name “Oxford Good Government”…I say it’s anything but. “Establishment” Chester County Republican committee members have their own agenda, and the tactics they use to get what they want can be alarming.

  8. These two women are under scrutiny for doing the right thing. I am not shocked at this, as I have seen intimidation, threats from all sides of this party. If people can show up to support these two ladies, I’m sure they would appreciate it. If we don’t stand up for people trying to make a difference, then people will get frustrated and the party will continue to get away with this.

  9. Seeing all of the “payback” to people who are not qualified to hold office is all anyone needs to know. If you want to do what is best for your area, you are ostracized for having an opinion other than “party first”. These women are hardworking, no pay, paying for items out of their own pocket, doing what is best for the community. They are not allowed to support “real candidates” who have the same morals, convictions and willingness to “serve” the community. Val discredits anyone who wants to actually work for better government. Having candidates who deserve to be supported is never allowed; the area chairs are let loose on the committeepeople to intimidate anyone who will not go along. You can see this in the County “row” elections, they are rewarded for their endeavors. Republicans need to leave this corrupt party and join with like minded conservatives to actually get a true Conservatives Party. Bye RHINOS and Big Government, you need to go the way of the Whigs. I’ll be there on the 11th. This is deeper and more corrupt than even I experienced. Look at the collusion of Dems with these Repubs.

  10. The Republican Party from West Chester to Harrisburg is stuffed with RINO cronies. They don’t believe in a conservative agenda unless it is election time where they then stand on the grave of a Ronald Reagan and claim moral authority. The people need to get engaged. We have no more physical town halls because these people are cowards. They promote a Progressive, big statist government agenda once elected. When you follow the money it is easy to see where their loyalties lie. Unions is one big area.

    The heads of the party will not endorse or help any from outside “the club” they have constructed. They even undermine such candidates. I saw it personally with Tom Smith and in other local elections. The “party” doesn’t even know what their stupid candidates stand for and scream, “They are conservative” which is far from the truth.

    THE RNC leadership at the county and state levels needs a total evisceration. They seem to think that this vote for the lesser of two evils narrative will somehow continue to play out and that is why we see Trump. The people are starting to wake up to the cynicism and understand we are ruled by crooks and criminals and it really is only one big party here in the USA and they are totally fed up with the “system”.

  11. If the Chester County Conservative movement begun winning committee seats and continued winning those elections till they had a majority. They would control the coarse of events. If they controlled the agenda this sort of thing could not happen. That is how a political movement prevails, by WINNING ELECTIONS and gaining a MAJORITY, then those in the majority choose the leadership. It is the losers of elections who go out on the street corner and protest. Because they are trying to influence the people who won the election. The winners of elections have no reason to protest because they won. The winners of elections earned political authority….BY WINNING THE ELECTIONS. Consequently, they simply do what they want done. The Chester County Conservatives need to get to work to systematically, methodically win a majority of Committee seats and thereby EARN the political authority to set the political agenda and choose the County leadership. If the Conservative movement is unable to win elections but the Rinos are, then why should anyone listen to the Conservatives? The solution really is quite simple and obvious, if the Conservative movement wants to gain influence, credibility and the ability to implement thier political ideology they need to EARN IT by winning elections and they need to continue winning elections until they attain a MAJORITY. It’s Government 101……Stop complaining, get to work…..GO WIN THE ELECTION!!!

  12. I know Donna Ellingson and will tell you that she is extremely hard-working and genuinely cares about Chester County and Republican values. It is a real shame that a few people in power apparently hope to get rid of her voice. The actions are petty and she does not deserve this.

  13. It’s quite simple. You can’t be a committee person and also work against the candidates that the Republican voters choose in the Primary Election. Why does Donna and Jane believe they know better than the Republican voters?

    And, taking shots at the wives of political figures is disgusting. Bill, you must be a real loser to post that. You also lack character.

    1. What “shot” was taken at their wives. Saying who they work for?

      And the name calling is juvenile at best. Are you projecting?

    2. If what you state was at face value I would agree. However the WC Republican Party heads are throwing funding at “their” wanted candidates and not those the local comittee put forth based on door to door voter feedback.So your will of the people argument is being taken by WC and not these woman.

    1. The overwhelming number of emails that I am receiving, all showing support and prayers, has been overwhelming. I haven’t been able to keep up with them all, but I thank you all for your encouragement and will let you know the progress and outcome of it all.
      May you all be as blessed as I am with the friendship being shown me from all over PA and beyond……………

  14. Bill, Thank you for alerting us all to these atrocities being perpetrated on Jane & Donna. I personally know Jane & Donna & can attest to their high ethical & moral character. They are God fearing, God loving women, with strong conservative values (as were the founding fathers of this country). How anyone who calls himself a republican can persecute these ladies is a very concerning indicator of how some fellow voters & leaders of our republican party have digressed. I have often observed Jane & Donna upholding core republican conservative values. One such observation concerns their pro-life stance. They uphold these values not just with their votes, but with their time & energy as well, as they pray peacefully outside abortion clinics to be a voice for the voiceless. I have also seen them live honest & conservative lives & raise their families with biblically based values. I have seen them faithful in their churches & personal spiritual lives a well. I have even been a part of praying with them & , yes, even praying for the very people who are accusing & persecuting them, because as Christians, we are to pray for our enemies (i.e. Rick Orner). I have seen them work tirelessly as committee people for a non-paying (by the way) republican cause & given more of their private time & lives to the republican cause than any republican I know. During election times & throughout the year, they both are out there doing the ground work, going to hundreds of doors to “get out the republican vote”. This is a fact & can be easily proven by the high percentage of republican voter turn out in their townships. These ladies not only “talk the talk”, but more importantly, the “walk the walk” of dedicated republicans. Why anyone who claims to be a conservative republican can persecute them is a mystery to me. Isn’t what they are doing by sacrificing to get good conservative political candidates on the republican ballot what the republican party of “old days” was all about? If your views as a republican are not aligning with these values, maybe you need to search your heart & get back to the political values that once made the republican party something to proud of & to aspire to! Jane & Donna, (& your persecutors), you are in my prayers. May God bless you & keep you & may God continue to bless & direct the republican party!

    1. I know a number of God fearing righteous women who are not setting a poor testament by how they choose to conduct themselves politically. Think about it.

  15. How Estace Walters in Elk Township and Shelley McLeod in East Nottingham Township were treated in the November election by their committee people is despicable and not in accordance with Republican values. They were chosen by their respective voters in the Primary despite Area-19’s wishes. To actively hand out sample ballots that are in opposition to these candidates is a cheap political trick Democrats would pull. Shame on you Donna and Jane for not having the ‘character’ (that all these other posts claim you both have) to stand up on May 20th and support your alternate candidates. Instead you waited until the morning of November 3rd to lay your deceptions.

  16. Good to learn the hearing was postponed. The Republican Party cannot build unity by using technical reading of administrative rules to remove an elected and very popular committee person. It is evident that Alex Rahn with the enabling complicity of Chair Val DiGiorgio is attempting to marginalize effective Republican activists to maintain an illusory control of power.

    The lessons of Montgomery County have not been learned.

  17. I would add that DiGiorgio-Rahn are fracturing the party making Pat Toomey’s re-election all the more difficult. Pat Toomey won by 75,000 votes in a year where Tom Corbett won wide margin.

  18. Donna’s main objective has always been to support conservative candidates that will make good decisions for the people , not decisions that will benefit them personally or their families. Donna is one of the hardest working committee person I know and none of what she does is for her own benefit. There are plenty of people involved in the political process that are employed by the taxpayer ….a conflict of interest if you ask me.

  19. It is a shame that the Republican Party cannot embrace and work with the tireless grassroots conservatives instead of trying to impune them. If they would embrace these hardworking true conservatives and actually try to put forward true conservative candidates instead of putting people up for endorsement because it is “their turn” then the Republican Party would be unstoppable. Instead they choose to run a kingdom, berating their lowly members into submission; The ones that actually know the constitution and try to elect people of integrity , honor and good moral courage. Paraphrasing from The Patriot : The RNC has never trusted their own voters and committee people. Change needs to happen here. If not, I truly believe this party is doomed through its own actions.
    Regarding the Star Chamber for those in the 19th District. Have we truly not moved forward from the 15th century? The founding fathers intended to abolish this English Institution. American Colonists were the loudest voices raised in opposition. However, here we are in 2016 still enduring this secretive body.

  20. Donna and Jane are TOPS. Their primary goal is to do God’s will. As we say, they are not paid or coerced by anyone; least of all, by Rinos that try to force their corrupt agendas on everyone. I pray that Val and all his like-minded cronies would stop and ask God what they “should” be doing—like supporting Godly candidates that put others first(not self seeking). God loves each of us infinitely. He needs to be first in each of our hearts. If you prefer not to do God’s will, then join the democrat party. Fighting good Godly people like Donna and Jane is ludicrous. Let’s join forces and do God’s will. Go Donna and Jane. And the rest of us need to get out there and fight for the TRUTH right along side of them. It’s the only way to get the right things done.

  21. The so called inquisition was postponed at the request of the accused according to the RCCC.The new date is January 26th. For the record.
    Just a thought, what if Bill Lawrance and Donna Ellingsen ( who I have never met) have led you all down the wrong path. Has anyone actually seen the complaint on Jane Ladley that went to the RCCC and the District Attorney. Just a thought. Trust but verify.
    I would also like to thank all of your bloggers for the prayers. For 12 years myself and ENTCOHG have been fighting to eliminate the corrupt, unethical, selfserving croonies from East Nottingham twps. We need all the prayers we can get. Democrat, Republican, and even conservative tea party leadership do not get a pass in ENT. And yes I am the enemy to those who fail to uphold there oath of office. PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR ME. CONCERNED REPUBLICAN who ever you are .

    1. Are you saying that Mrs. Ladley — a retired teacher — is now involved in criminal activity and this is not just a mere private political dispute?? Heavens, I never knew. I’m certainly glad good citizens such as yourself have contacted authorities. What has the District Attorney done about this transgression?

  22. Mr . Lawrence.
    You refer to this as a mere private political dispute.Shame on you.You and Donna have turned our local issue into a first class statewide circus act. If any of you had any credibility or integrity you would issue and apology for your actions. Just a thought , why is it most of your bloggers use screen names while naming other people in their post.What are they afraid of.Oh maybe it is the truth. You have given the grass roots movement a black eye on this one. God does not like deception.

    1. You are too kind. Neither I nor Ms. Ellingsen had anything to do with creating the circus act. And that the matter is now before the entire state has far less to do with us and far more to do with state legislators, state legislative candidates, and even other counties feeling obliged to get involved in your tiff. Frankly, that they would do so I truly find puzzling.

      Regarding the description as to it being a “private, political matter” that was my understanding as to what it was until you revealed that you reported nefarious doings by the retired school teacher to the district attorney. Excellent work!!

      1. If Ms. Ellingsen had nothing to do with creating the circus act, then why did she send an email far and wide throughout Chester County about this situation? Furthermore, where did she get those emails?

          1. Why isn’t Evelyn Spencer in this group. She openly supported Matt Seavey who was also not the nominee????

        1. Of course he does. If I were Jane Ladley I’d sue him for libel and defamation of character. He should be cautious in what he says and posts publicly.

  23. Mr . lawrence
    At 2:14pm yesterday someone entered a post on this blog using my name. How could that be. If anyone can post using someone else’s name then that puts a cloud of deception and credibility over you and Donna . Maybe this blog is just a scam by you and Donna to divert from the real issue. Simplified, Donna went against the republican voters that voted for her as their committee woman to represent them. Simple issue.as far as Jane Ladley it is more then that. Violating campaign finance laws , supporting unendorsed canidates in a general election and other alleged illegal activity are the issue’s.You blame this on the Republican party when their are only 2 people responsible. JANE AND DONNA.

  24. To stop the rinos
    Send me an email request with your contact info and I will be more then glad to forward you any and all documentation supporting my statments. There appears to be some kind of deceptive motivation behind this blog and the individuals who started it.
    entcohg@gmail.com.

  25. Mr.Lawrence
    Just a question to you or anyone else. What gives a person the right to vote for a committee person?

  26. Sarah,
    Stay tuned. You will soon see what this is all about. Cronyism, pay to play, by conservative tea party leadership.

  27. Can Orner & Dougherty stop voicing their opinions, please? All I read and understand, is that they know each other and are speaking the words of the devil. Go back to you h—-holes. We know you are NOT good people, so go back to whatever evil place you came from. I’ll pray I never hear or read anything from you again! Be gone devils!!

    1. Wow KAT! What a comment. I’ve never spoken with or met Mr. Orner – just through comments on this blog. I have, however, followed this “story” as a concerned citizen. Is the truth considered the word of the devil if it’s not what you want to hear? I hope that’s not what you’re teaching your children. Donna broke the rules and went against the voters in her township. People lodged complaints and per their bylaws, the RCCC has to respond. Please tell me, KAT, what is devilish about those facts? The only person you should be condemning is yourself for the disgusting way you’ve carried yourself in this forum. Shame on you.

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